Democracy Now! Tuesday, May 20, 1997
Source 1/4" audio tape
China and Most Favored Nation Trade Status
President Clinton yesterday began a campaign to renew most favored
nation trade status with China. The move comes as no surprise
following yet another lobbying blitz of what is now referred to as
the China lobbymajor corporations like Boeing, Coca-Cola and
But most favored nation trade status must be approved by Congress
and opponents of the measure have vowed a tough fight. Human rights
groups say that the Clinton administration has once again
sacrificed basic freedoms on the altar of commerce. Last week in
Los Angeles, New York, Portland and Seattle, human rights groups
and writers highlighted the case of Chinese author and dissident
Wei Jingsheng, one of the most important political prisoners in the
He is considered the paramount leader and symbol of the ongoing
struggle for democracy and human rights in China and has spent all
but six months of the last seventeen years in prison. Once an
electrician at the Beijing Zoo, Wei Jingsheng emerged as an
eloquent and utterly fearless fighter for individual rights in
China during the Democracy Wall movement of the late 1970s. He is
now serving a 14-year-sentence on round-the-clock surveillance and
his health has continued to deteriorate.
TAPE: KATI MARTON, chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
TAPE: ARTHUR MILLER, author and playwright.
TAPE: PETER GABRIEL, popular singer..
Women and Rules in the Military
The court-martial trial of the countrys first female B-52 bomber
pilot, Lieutenant Kelly Flinn, looks set to begin in North Dakota
this week. Lieutenant Flinn faces charges of adultery, lying to
investigators and disobeying an order in connection with two love
affairs the Air Force says she hadone with a married civilian.
The case of 26-year-old Lieutenant Flinn has not only highlighted
the militarys tough rules against adultery and certain types of
romantic relationships, but also the way those rules are applied.
Many victims and womens groups say that the rules are
disproportionately applied to women.
GUEST: TODD ENSIGN, the head of Citizen Soldier, an advocacy
organization for servicemen and women based in New York City.
GUEST: LIEUTENANT CRISTA DAVIS, a communications officer at
Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Pentagon Unveils Plans
The Pentagon yesterday unveiled its strategic blueprint for the
21st century. Secretary of Defense William Cohen announced a new
round of base closings and cuts in service personnel. But he
actually increased the Pentagons budget for new weapons system, a
big boon to defense contractors. The procurement budget will
reportedly increase from $40 billion a year to $60 billion a year
GUEST: WILLIAM HARTUNG, a senior research fellow at the World
Policy Institute, an independent think tank that examines US
foreign and economic policy. The World Policy Institute is based at
the New School for Social Research in New York City.